When elephants fight, the Pine Tree State suffers

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The Justice Department has sued Maine utilities regulators for trying to find out whether Verizon turned over customer records to the National Security Agency:

"The defendant state officers' attempts to obtain such information are invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution and are preempted by the United States Constitution and various federal statutes," the lawsuit said.

Kurt Adams, chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, as well as two other regulatory officials, were named in the lawsuit.

Verizon's local subsidiaries were also named to prevent the company from responding to the Maine officials' demands for information.

"We're just in the middle here," said Verizon spokesman Peter Thonis.

State busybodies or federal goons: Name your poison.

Jacob Sullum hangs up on the president's elastic definition of his own phone-tapping powers. Jeff Taylor crank calls the telecon giants. Here's a roundup of Reason's phone records coverage from back in May.

NEXT: NASA goes retro with lunar butt plug ideal for probing Uranus

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  1. Telecons? Is it intentional or just a Freudian slip?

  2. Interesting legal stance.

    State busybodies or federal goons: Name your poison.

    My state does not have the legal standing to protect me from spying from private corporations? Where in the constitution does it say my state cannot protect my rights?

    And folks wonder why I think suspect Libertarians oppose the freemarket in favor of Corporate fuedalism.

  3. You can hop in the 82 Honda Civic and escape the state busybodies. Los Goonos Federales are everywhere and are thus 10x as creepy.

  4. First of all, I don’t see how that violates the Supremacy Clause. Second, NOW THEY’RE WORRIED ABOUT THE FUCKING CONSTITUTION???!!!

  5. I just realized another way to parse Tim’s statement.

    Lets say the NSA hires a private “security firm” who then, without warrant, breaks into my home.

    Tim thinks that my state would be busybodies to investigate.

    Tim, are you a sleeper agent left over from the cold war days?

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